Insights

18th October 2019

What are Advanced Google Search Operators and how should I use them? – Part 2

As mentioned within last month’s blog, Advanced Google Search Operators are special commands you can carry out within Google that help identify SEO opportunities within your website. Simply put, they’re pieces of text you can add to a search, in order to better filter your results.

Last month we covered some of the most commonly used search operators – and it’s time for another five! Read on to find out more about additional search operators and how they could help you improve your searches.

1. Number one in this month’s list is a search operator command that helps you find specific types of files within a website. You might want to locate all PowerPoint presentations within a particular site or find and remove old versions of files within your own website. Regardless of the site or purpose, it’s really quite simple to locate all files of a certain type within any URL. You can do this by using the site command, followed by a filetype command. Use ‘site:’ to reference the website you’d like to search, and ‘filetype:’ to filter out the type of files you’re looking for. For example, ‘site:varn.co.uk filetype:pdf’. This can be done to filter out PDF files, PowerPoint presentations, text files, Word documents and more.

2. Another common search operator that you may find useful is the Source command. When searching for content from a particular source (a specific news outlet, for example), simply enter the main keyword you’re looking for followed by ‘source:’ and the name of your desired source. For example, if you’re writing an article on Voice Search and want to find similar content to reference from creditable sources (such as the Telegraph), you could use the following search operators: ‘voice search source:telegraph’.

3. The next search operator we’re going to look at is the Related command. Sometimes, it’s useful to be able to find websites which are similar to others you regularly use or those which are similar to your own site – you can find alternative sources for products / information as well as identifying potential online competitors. For example, if we wanted to search online for sites similar to the Varn website for competitor research purposes or to gain industry insights, we would use the following phrase within a Google search: related:varn.co.uk

4. If you want to carry out a search for content or articles but want to exclude results that contain a particular word because it’s not relevant, you can use the Exclude Words operator. All you need to do in order to apply this operator is add a minus symbol after your main search phrase, before the term you’d like excluded. For example, if you want to search for Search Engine Optimisation but exclude results that mention ‘paid’, you would use the following: “search engine optimisation -paid”.

5. Number 5 in our list is best used when you’re trying to discover information regarding a competitor’s website. You can use the Info operator to find information related to a particular domain – including pages where the domain has been referenced within the content, similar on-site pages and content that has been cached. All you need to do is insert ‘Info:’ before the domain. For example, “info:varn.co.uk”.

So, that’s another five search operator commands you can put into practice! Again, if you’ve not seen last month’s blog, do check it out: What are Advanced Google Search Operators and how should I use them? – Part 1.

If you’d like more information on advanced Google search operators and how Varn could help optimise your website, get in touch with our friendly team today. You can also subscribe to our newsletter to be kept in the loop on the latest industry news.

Article by: Aimee, Technical SEO Manager More articles by Aimee

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